3 researchers in Ireland win top-up funding from EU

Ireland have performed very well in the latest competition of the European Research Council (ERC) for its top-up funding ‘Proof of Concept’ awards, with 3 out of a total of 34 going to researchers in Ireland. The 3 top level researchers are Frederic Dias, University College Dublin; John Nolan, Waterford Institute of Technology; and Debra Fern Laefer, University College Dublin.

A New Horizon in European Research for Irish Universities

An action plan for participation of the Irish universities in Horizon 2020 was launched today by Minister for Research and Innovation Mr Sean Sherlock T.D. as part of the national launch of the European Union’s new Horizon 2020 Programme.

Conor O’Carroll, Irish Universities Association, Sean Sherlock T.D., Minister for Research & Innovation, Marie Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and Dr. Lokesh Joshi Chair of the IUA VP’s of Research Group

Conor O’Carroll, Irish Universities Association, Sean Sherlock T.D., Minister for Research & Innovation, Marie Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and Dr. Lokesh Joshi Chair of the IUA VP’s of Research Group

The action plan entitled “Horizon 2020: Sustaining Excellence in University Research & Innovation” outlines the position of the universities on the Horizon 2020 proposals and sets out a series of recommendations and actions to enhance the performance of Irish universities, giving the sector the best chance of success in Horizon 2020. The Irish Universities, in partnership with the private sector, have been the most successful participants in FP7 and their involvement is essential for Ireland to reach its target of securing over €1 billion in funding from Horizon 2020.

Speaking at the launch Minister Sean Sherlock said, “I welcome the renewed commitment of the universities to maximise their participation in Horizon 2020 across all areas. At a time when national funding for research must be carefully invested, it is critical that the universities and all public research institutions gain maximum leverage from exchequer funds”.

Commenting on the Action Plan, Chair of the IUA VP’s of Research Group Dr Lokesh Joshi said. “This is the first time the universities have published an action plan for a framework programme and it shows our serious intent to achieve success in Horizon 2020. We look forward to working with the Horizon 2020 National Support Network, national funding agencies and government in this regard. The universities are also fully committed to the National Research Prioritisation plan and we will ensure that our research strengths across the full spectrum of disciplines are maintained.”

Produced by the universities through the Irish Universities Association (IUA), the document identifies a series of actions which the universities will undertake to enhance their performance in Horizon 2020 including:

  •  Maintaining and increasing research excellence across all disciplines by improving the universities’ performance in European Research Council Calls. This will attracting excellent researchers to relocate to Ireland, and target those with high potential already here;
  •  Strengthening partnerships with the private sector to maximise the returns from the three Pillars of Horizon 2020 and ensure the implementation of the National Research Prioritisation plan;
  •  Maximising commercialisation opportunities from Horizon 2020 projects – the new Central Technology Transfer Office led by Dr. Alison Campbell OBE will take a key role in this aspect;
  •  Developing targeted Horizon 2020 funding strategies for large-scale research centres including the new SFI Centres;
  • Ensure an all island report by promoting extensive collaboration with universities and companies in Northern Ireland working with InterTrade Ireland and InvestNI.

In their plan, the universities also identify actions that can be taken by Government Departments, Research Funding Agencies and the National Support System that will significantly improve performance in Horizon 2020. There are two in particular:

  • Structuring national funding calls to allow researchers to build capacity in the Horizon 2020 research areas, thereby leveraging their national funding with Horizon 2020 funding;
  • Strategically using European Structural and Investment Funds to increase the research system’s capacity to participate in Horizon 2020, with particular reference to investment in human capital and research infrastructure. The universities are keen to take advantage of opportunities to harness the synergies between Horizon 2020 and Structural Funds, as foreseen by the Commission.

The Irish Research Council (IRC) sponsored Marie Curie Office at the Irish Universities Association will play a strong role in this Horizon 2020 National Support Network.  The Marie Curie National Contact Point and National Delegate are keen to build on Irish success in the FP7 Marie Curie Actions, which has been Ireland’s 2nd largest FP7 income stream with €83 million secured to the end of July this year.

The EURAXESS Ireland Office at the Irish Universities Association funded by the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation will play a complementary role, assisting researchers to relocate to Ireland including finding job and funding opportunities, and help with immigration.


For More Information contact:

Dr Jennifer Brennan, Marie Curie National Contact Point based at the Irish Universities Association.
Tel: 01 6764948. Email: jennifer.brennan@iua.ie

Espion Ltd announce €1.3 Million in EU R&D Funding

Specialists in securing corporate information, Espion, has been awarded R&D contracts worth a total of €1.3 million under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), as part of four large-scale projects

Seán Sherlock, T.D. Minister for Research and Innovation,  Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science join Espion managing director Colman Morrissey and Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland at the announcement of Espion Ltd’s EU R&D Funding

Seán Sherlock, T.D. Minister for Research and Innovation, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science join Espion managing director Colman Morrissey and Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland at the announcement of Espion Ltd’s EU R&D Funding

As a key player in information security, Espion is committed to leveraging its knowledge to play a leading role in R&D. In the past two years the firm has increased investment in R&D and related participation in collaborative Pan-European research.

Congratulating Espion Ltd. Sean Sherlock T.D. Minister for Research and Innovation said; “Espion is an excellent example of an Irish SME participating in leading-edge, European R&D security/IT projects and leveraging this activity to develop its business proposition. Thanks to companies such as Espion, Ireland won €11M in European Commission security R&D funding in 2013 alone with €6M of that total going to SMEs.”

Espion managing director, Colmán Morrissey says: “This funding marks a significant milestone for Espion and endorses our capabilities around contributing to leading-edge R&D. We look forward to driving innovation in the tools, techniques and insights which are critical to the future of the industry.”

Using its strong track-record in security risk and cyber threat assessment around core enterprise networks and critical infrastructure, Espion will collaborate on four projects spanning Pan-European cyber security and emerging cyber threats.

Espion will be helping to shape the future of ICT Security and Forensics through: developing a technology for sharing and propagating security threat information across national and pan-European key critical infrastructures; providing the EU with a realistic R&D roadmap for the SME sector around cybercrime and cyber terrorism, as well as developing advanced cyber forensics software components that will focus on the convergence of physical and logical security technologies.

Espion is one of the largest digital Forensics & eDiscovery service providers in Europe – with vast experience in dealing with complex digital investigations and eDiscovery projects for stakeholders in law firms, corporations, government agencies and law enforcements.

In addition to this, Espion has software development skills, academia research experience, a deep understanding of Digital Forensic technologies and market environments, as well as vast experience of the diverse legislative environment around privacy and forensic data analysis, with Europe and beyond.

€15 million in EU funding won by Beaufort Research, UCC for Offshore Wind Project

Minister Sherlock announces start of Logistic Efficiencies & Naval architecture for Wind Installations with Novel Developments (LEANWIND) project at launch of Horizon 2020

 Pictured at the launch of the LEANWIND Project  on 10th December 2013 from left to right:     Dr. Jimmy Murphy (Head of Offshore Wind Group, Beaufort Research, UCC), Séan Sherlock (Minister for Research & Innovation), and Katie Lynch (Research Engineer, Beaufort Research, UCC)© Gary O'Neill


Pictured at the launch of the LEANWIND Project on 10th December 2013 from left to right:
Dr. Jimmy Murphy (Head of Offshore Wind Group, Beaufort Research, UCC), Séan Sherlock (Minister for Research & Innovation), and Katie Lynch (Research Engineer, Beaufort Research, UCC)© Gary O’Neill

Sean Sherlock T.D. Minister for Research and Innovation has welcomed the success of Beaufort Research, University College Cork in securing €15million in EU funding to co-ordinate LEANWIND, a new Offshore Wind Project.

The LEANWIND project seeks to reduce costs for offshore wind farm developments and make offshore wind competitive with traditional energy sources.  LEANWIND will look at new ways to transport components, manage and organise the port efficiently, adapt fixed and floating turbine structures to aid installation and consider new technologies to maintain the wind farm.

Making the announcement at the Irish launch of Horizon 2020 in Dublin today (10th December 2013) Minister Sherlock said “The LEANWIND project represents a significant win for UCC and presents a great opportunity for the Irish energy sector. The offshore wind industry is estimated to be worth €130billion by 2020[1]. Despite the European economic downturn, the wind energy sector employed around 238,000 in 2010[2], with job predictions set to increase to 520,000 in 2020 and 794,079 in 2030”.

Offshore wind energy can play a key role in stimulating growth and investment in Europe over the next decade, and its position as first-mover in the industry creates significant export potential to develop international markets. The successful deployment of Leanwind brings with it the potential for Ireland to become a key service provider to the global offshore wind industry. ” said Minister Sherlock.

Dr. Jimmy Murphy of Beaufort Research said “The most significant issue facing the offshore wind industry at present is achieving cost reduction and this is at the core of LEANWIND.  The presence of Irish research groups and SME’s in this project ensures that we will have the knowledge and expertise to directly participate and benefit economically when Irelands vast offshore wind resource is being developed.”

A principal aim of the project is to develop niche markets, thereby creating sustainable long term employment in offshore wind for the Irish and European shipping industries.  From an Irish perspective LEANWIND will create research jobs and will help to develop commercial opportunities for Irish companies in the offshore wind sector.

Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) of the Defence Forces, Rear Admiral Mark Mellett commended Beaufort Research, UCC “who in collaboration with the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster is helping drive Ireland’s Maritime Economy.  The project provides a perfect example of how the Defence Forces and the Department of Defence through platforms such as the Defence Enterprise Committee can provide technical advice to research institutes that can lead to real impact and job creation.”

Ireland has one of the best offshore wind resources in Europe and some of the most attractive shallow water, near-shore sites for commercial development in the Irish Sea. To date Ireland has had a very minor role in this industry with only seven offshore wind turbines in total compared to 870 installed offshore the UK coastline at the end of 2012[3]. It is imperative that Ireland develops the necessary capabilities now or it will lose out to the other countries investing heavily in this industry

The LEANWIND project was awarded to Beaufort Research in University College Cork (UCC), against tough competition from consortia of partners well-established in the offshore wind industry. The project is worth €10million in European Commission funding and €15million in total funding.  This multi-national project involves 31 partners from 11 countries, which includes 4 Irish partners; two third level institutions (UCC and Cork Institute of Technology), and two companies (Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions Ltd and Arklow Marine Services).

LEANWIND Project

The LEANWIND project seeks to reduce costs for offshore wind farm developments and make offshore wind competitive with traditional energy sources.

The work programme will apply “lean” principles to streamline procedures and develop new technologies and tools to improve efficiency, and will thus address current and future industry challenges to help make offshore wind a competitive source of energy. The focus of the work will be in the areas of substructure and vessel design, wind farm logistics and economics, Operation & Maintenance, Health & Safety and business models.

The work includes developing new vessels and equipment similar to those designed and built by LEANWIND partner Arklow Marine Services and looking at the use of ship bridge simulators for training such as those installed in the National Maritime College of Ireland.


For more information contact: leanwind@ucc.ie

Dr. Jimmy Murphy, Beaufort Research, UCC 086-8347853

 

 

Horizon 2020, Europe’s largest ever fund for research and innovation comes to Ireland

  • €79 Billion available to companies and researchers announces EU Commissioner 
  • Ireland aims to win €1.25 bn – an average of €3M per week – over lifetime of 7 year programme
Horizon 2020, the European Union’s new €79 billion programme for research and innovation to create new growth and jobs in Europe, was launched in the Convention Centre Dublin today (Tuesday 10 December 2013).

Horizon 2020, the European Union’s new €79 billion programme for research and innovation to create new growth and jobs in Europe, was launched in the Convention Centre Dublin today (Tuesday 10 December 2013).

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and Seán Sherlock T.D. Minister for Research & Innovation launched the largest European fund to date to support research and innovation to an audience of over 2,000 people from companies and academic researchers in Ireland.

Speaking at the launch Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn outlined the opportunities for Ireland’s economy and society presented by Horizon 2020: “Investment in research, innovation and science is essential if Europe and Ireland are to create new high-quality jobs. Horizon 2020 funding is based on competitive calls that are open to everyone. It is up to individual researchers, research organisations, companies or other organisations to get involved.” The Commissioner urged Irish companies and researchers to ‘be ambitious, find partners to collaborate with and apply now”.

Seán Sherlock T.D. Minister for Research & Innovation stated: “Ireland has adopted a new strategy to ensure strong participation by Irish researchers and companies in Horizon 2020, with an ambitious target of winning €1.25 bn over the programme period.” Minister Sherlock drew attention to the measures taken to make it easier for SMEs to participate. “Irish SMEs can engage in large collaborative projects, or seek support through a new dedicated SME instrument for highly innovative smaller companies. The amount of red tape has been slashed and a risk finance support for SMEs is being put in place to generate commercial value from their research, resulting in economic growth and job creation” said Minister Sherlock.

Dr. Imelda Lambkin, National Director of Horizon 2020, Enterprise Ireland highlighted the high levels of interest from ‘newcomers’ to EU funding in the build up to today’s launch. “It is vital that we attract new companies and researchers to apply for funding from Horizon 2020. The National Support Network for Horizon 2020 led by Enterprise Ireland is driving participants to go for bigger and more valuable projects as this is how we will reach our target of winning €1.25BN in funding for Ireland over the next 7 years” said Dr. Lambkin.

Horizon 2020 has an increased budget of nearly 30% in real terms compared with its predecessor, the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7). Ireland was successful in achieving the national target of winning €600M in funding from FP7.

For more information contact:

Grace Labanyi, Communications Officer, Enterprise Ireland 353 (0) 1 727 2746 / 353 (0) 87 3286404
grace.labanyi@enterprise-ireland.com

State must seize €1bn opportunity afforded by EU’s Horizon 2020 plan

THE RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE PROGRAMME IS WORTH ALMOST €80BN DURING THE PERIOD 2014 TO 2020

EU commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn: “Ireland has a good story to tell in terms of its involvement in EU research, innovation and science programmes.” Photograph: Alan Betson.

EU commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn: “Ireland has a good story to tell in terms of its involvement in EU research, innovation and science programmes.” Photograph: Alan Betson.

Ireland can draw down a minimum of €1 billion over the next seven years under the EU research, innovation and science programme Horizon 2020. However, more Irish organisations must participate in the programme.

Experience shows that countries and regions that invest the most in research, innovation and science secure the best economic dividends in the medium to long term. Governments have to be very smart when it comes to planning expenditure, particularly in times of budgetary constraint. But the reality is that investment in research, innovation and science is essential if Europe and Ireland are to maintain jobs and to create employment opportunities – to build on our strengths and become even more competitive.

Ireland has a good story to tell in terms of its involvement in EU research, innovation and science programmes. That said, it can, and must do better. Under the existing EU Research and Technological Framework Programme (FP7) 2007 – 2013, organisations from Ireland have drawn down €572 million to date. An additional €63 million has been secured by private and public sector bodies in Northern Ireland during this same period.

Economic development
These funds are being used to develop the economy during a difficult period for the country: 62 per cent of funding has gone to universities and third-level colleges; 26 per cent to private firms; with the remainder allocated to research institutes and public bodies.

Of this figure, €116 million has been drawn down by Irish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the information and communications technology (ICT), agriculture and food, health, transport, energy and environmental sectors.

Securing at least €1 billion under Horizon 2020 during the period 2014–2020 is very attainable but to achieve this, several measures must be taken: There needs to be a higher level of engagement from research and third-level colleges in Horizon 2020 who, heretofore, have not been strongly involved in EU research programmes. Many of these bodies could benefit greatly from closer collaboration in framing Horizon 2020 consortia applications.

More companies from the private sector need to participate in Horizon 2020 and this includes a series of public-private partnerships operating in Europe in the fields of aeronautics, fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, innovative medicines, electronics and bio-based industries.

The European Commission, together with EU governments and the European Parliament, have ensured that Horizon 2020 – which is worth almost €80 billion during the period 2014–2020 – will be less bureaucratic.

There will be a single set of rules covering eligibility, accounting and auditing that will guarantee less paperwork for applicants. The length of time from the submission of a proposal to the signature of a grant agreement with a successful consortium will take a maximum of eight months. There will also be a special SME financial instrument to support innovative smaller companies.

Successful consortia
Enterprise Ireland provides a professional advisory service that explains how Horizon 2020 operates, the nature of the calls for proposals and how best to form successful consortia.

This Wednesday marks the first call for proposals under Horizon 2020.

I urge companies that are involved in research, innovation and science to look at this call to identify new opportunities.

The website can be located at ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/index_en.cfm and the help desk will guide participants through the application process.

One of the key advantages of Horizon 2020 participation is the formation of high-level links with research bodies and companies in Europe and worldwide.

To date, European Union research funding has already enabled Irish organisations to pioneer advances to treat diabetes and tackle cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, groundbreaking Irish innovation is working to make energy consumption more efficient by using ICT applications.

I hope that anyone with an excellent idea and drive to innovate will look into opportunities Horizon 2020 offers.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is EU commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.

Contact

Head Office

Enterprise Ireland
East Point Business Park, Dublin 3
Tel: +353 1 727 2000 | Fax: +353 1 727 2020

  • The Department for Agriculture Food and the Marine
  • The Environmental Protection Agency Ireland
  • Health Research Board
  • Higher Education Authority
  • Irish Research Council
  •  Irish Universities Association
  • The Marine Institute
  • Science Foundation Ireland (SFI
  • The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

Horizon 2020 national support network led by Enterprise Ireland